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Archive for February, 2011

I just have a couple of quotes to share with you today:

“Families must continue to be the foundation of our nation. Families – and not government – are the best way to make sure our children are properly nurtured, our elderly are cared for, our cultural and spiritual heritages are perpetuated, our laws are observed and our values are preserved. … We fear the government may be powerful enough to destroy our families; we know that it is not powerful enough to replace them.” – Ronald Reagan

Amen! Furthermore…

“We have strayed a great distance from our Founding Fathers’ vision of America. They regarded the central government’s responsibility as that of providing national security, protecting our democratic freedoms, and limiting the government’s intrusion in our lives – in sum, the protection of life, libert, and the pursuit of happiness. They never envisioned vast agencies in Washington telling our farmers what to plant, our teachers what to teach, our industries what to build. The Constitution they wrote established sovereign states, not mere administrative districts for the federal government. They believed in keeping government as close as possible to the people.” – Ronald Reagan

Then along comes Obama, with the audacity to say:

“Reagan understood that while we may see the world differently and hold different opinions about what’s best for our country, the fact remains that we are all patriots who put the welfare of our fellow citzens above all else.”

excuse me?

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The time has come for our foundation herd sire, Larry, to go down the road. He has sired all of our kids from the 2009-2011 kidding seasons, and with some transitions in the ownership of the herd, we’re also looking to re-evaluate our direction and our bloodline. As much as we love what he has produced, and hate to see him go, it would be nice to outcross his daughters to a new buck rather than continue to breed them back to their father.

Spice and Larry

Spice, our livestock guarding dog, with Larry

For those of you who don’t know, Larry is a grade Kiko buck. He is four and a half years old. Here is his kidding record:

2009 Kidding Season – exposed to four adult does, producing:
Twin bucks out of a grade Nubian doe
Twin does out of a grade Boer doe
Twins, a buck and a doe, out of a grade Boer doe
A single doe kid out of a Spanish/Boer doe

Larry in summer 2010

Larry in 2010

2010 Kidding Season – exposed to five adult does, and three yearling does, producing:
Twins, a buck and a doe, out of a grade Nubian doe
Twin bucks out of a grade Nubian doe
Twins, a buck and a doe, out of a grade Boer doe
Twin does out of a grade Boer doe
Twins, a buck and a doe, out of a Spanish/Boer doe
A single buck kid out of a yearling Kiko/Spanish/Boer doe
A single doe kid out of a yearling Kiko/Boer doe
A single buck kid out of a yearling Kiko/Boer doe

Larry and BamBam

Larry, in summer 2010 with Kiko/Boer kid Bam-Bam behind him

2011 Kidding Season – exposed to five adult does, and three yearling does, producing:
Twins, a buck and a doe, out of a grade Nubian doe
Twins, a buck and a doe, out of a Spanish/Boer doe
Twin does out of a grade Boer doe
Twin bucks out of a Spanish/Boer/Kiko doe
Twins, a buck and a doe, out of a Kiko/Boer doe (purchased from us exposed to him)
Three yearling does (two Kiko/Boer and one Kiko/Nubian) were also exposed to him and have not yet kidded

If you have reviewed any of our other posts regarding this year’s goat kids, you will see plenty of his offspring. I’m going to try to use the WordPress gallery setting to upload some pictures of his offspring from prior years… we’ll see if it works.

Edited to add: Okay, it’s putting them up as small thumbnails, is including the pictures of Larry within the gallery, and isn’t showing the captions under the pictures… and I don’t know how to fix that. But if you click on the thumbnails, the pictures will come up for larger viewing.

We are asking $250 for Larry, and would like to get him moved off the farm as soon as possible. Having two to three feet of snow on the ground (depending on where you look) is making space seem especially tight right now.  😉  He is located about forty-five minutes north of Syracuse, NY. Please e-mail me at aiketgate88 (at) aol (dot) com if you would like to inquire about purchasing Larry.

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Yesterday the weather was mild enough to shut the horses out of their run-in and allow all the kids and their mothers out together. Of course, there was much jostling amongst the adults to determine who was going to be in charge, but the kids seemed to think it was rather fun once they got past the initial shock.

Twinkie and Oreo hanging out. (Yes, Oreo noticed that I had the camera out.. he really doesn’t seem to like the flashing light.)

Sarah says, “Whatcha doin’? Got any treats?”

Moses, on the other hand, just mosied around, strutting his stuff. He even went “head-to-head” with our momma Nubian doe, DJ, which was rather humorous to watch. Gutsy little guy! Unfortunately, none of the shots I took of that came out – my camera just can’t handle motion in that lighting.

Moses says, “Yeah. Yeah, I know. I’m hot stuff.”

Then, I brought in… a monster. Or so you would have thought, from the kids’ reactions:

Sarah: “What… is it?”
Annabelle: “I don’t know.”

“Eek!”

So, who was it? Well, in close quarters she’s a bit camera-shy… but I was able to get this decent shot of her out in the bucks’ pasture:

It was our lovely lady Spice, who was delighted to be able to spend some free time with the new kids.

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I was delighted to find the following in a passage of The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love as I was reading it this morning:

“As I patched the barn with scrap lumber, pig-tight but ugly, I was forced to confront my own prejudice. I had come to the farm with the unarticulated belief that concrete things were for dumb people and abstract things were for smart people. I thought the physical world – the trades – was the place you ended up if you weren’t bright or ambitious enough to handle a white-collar job. Did I really think that a person with a genius for fixing engines, or for building, or for husbanding cows, was less brilliant than a person who writes ad copy or interprets the law? Apparently I did, though it amazes me now. I ordered books from the library about construction, plumbing and electricity, and discovered that reading them was like trying to learn in a foreign language, the simplest things – the names of unknown tools or hardware, the names for parts of structures – creating dead ends that required answers, more research. There’s no better cure for snobbery than a good [butt]

kicking.”

– Kristin Kimball,

The Dirty Life, p. 111

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“Families must continue to be the foundation of our nation. Families – not government programs – are the best way to make sure our children are properly nurtured, our elderly are cared for, our cultural and spiritual heritages are perpetuated, our laws are observed and our values are preserved. … We fear the government may be powerful enough to destroy our families; we know that it is not powerful enough to replace them.”
  – Ronald Reagan

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image

I’m not entirely sure that you can tell much from the photograph in this quick post from my cell phone, but it tells me a lot. It tells me that I accomplished something.

It’s an amazing feeling, really. You see, while clearing away the new snow from the manure pit area, I managed to get the tractor stuck *in* said snow.

Normally, I would try to gun it out, and if that failed, I would save myself the frustration (and the diesel fuel) and just leave it until someone could come pull it out with a chain later in the day.

Or, if my husband were home, I would go and find him and ask for his help. (Usually by this point, I am either feeling very frustrated, or sheepish, or both.)

Well. He was not home. I would have felt bad leaving it to be pulled out – AGAIN – until the owner was home. So, I started fiddling around with the hydralic bucket. I’ve done that before, to no avail.

I would say that today I just had more grit (which may be true), but in reality, what I had a lot more of was grace. It took some determination, and many failed attempts, but… I got it out.

*I* got it out.

It reminds me of the sense of accomplishment I felt after spending a profuse amount of time trying to back up a trailer with the Ford tractor during my apprenticeship at the Ranch. In that instance, there was a random and very patient old man who was able to assist me in my learning process. There were also several landscaping volunteers who stood by in recognition of the fact that this was something I had to do. I commend them all.

This time, there was no audience… and somehow, that almost made it better. I am far more apt to lose my temper and become rather frustrated, when there’s no audience.

“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” – Proverbs 16:32

That is a verse that I often need to be reminded of, and one that I don’t often feel encouraged by, since I often feel like I’m failing miserably at it.

Most of all what I need to take away from this victory is a gratitude for the opportunity to turn a potential frustration into a time of growth. May God grant me the grace to continue to do so in the future.

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